Alpe di Cadinello Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Alpe di Cadinello


Top 50 world climb at the Swiss/Italian border.

Explore this Climb

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Climb Summary

cycling Alpe di Cadinello  - view of valley below and mountains in background;

Cycling Alp di Cadinello - the 3rd hardest Swiss and 29th World road bike climb.

Ride 15 kilometers gaining 1,567 meters at 10% average grade.

The climb starts in a small southwestern swiss village of Roveredo (population 2,520 12-31-18).  There is free easy parking near the base of the climb.

Bike climb Alpe di Cadinello  - swiss flag and road

You’ll pass a few restaurants and houses before the road becomes enveloped  by trees and not much else.

Bicycle climb Alpe di Cadinello  - road and tree tunnel

About halfway up your climb you will pass through the small village of Monte Di Vif  which has water and food available.

Climb Alpe di Cadinello  by bike - flower and village

Then again the road is surrounded by trees. Within a half mile of the ‘finish’ of the climb there is a tunnel and the road becomes gravel. The tunnel is unlit and very hazardous. We should crop the climb to end at the tunnel. After the tunnel there is no real climbing.

Climb by bike Alpe di Cadinello  - roadway sign

Sign at 6.4 km

 This is the third most difficult climb in Switzerland and in the World Top 25.

Giulio Cardano Hello John. I made it by bike. After the top there is less than 1 km of dirt road where you have to be careful but it is more than practicable, as you can see from the photo. At most it takes up an extra air chamber. There are also two galleries completely to the oxen so it is better to have a torch (I did not have it). In my opinion, it is the most beautiful climb in the area and the traffic of cars is almost null since only residents can climb. Good fun !

Mauro Cavalli Hi, yes... all paved (not very well) but you have to go back from the same side, on the other side of the tunnel there are two long gravel pieces

Matthias Eisenring yes, it's paved to the top. but i would recommend a mountain bike, because the road isn't everywhere in a perfect condition. and with the road bike you have to go the same way down.

Steepest Gradients by Distance

Grades.JPG notes of this climb:

“Alpe di Cadinello is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.828m above the sea level, located in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland.  Starting from Roveredo this winding road is totally asphalted, but extremely narrow (totally impassable for 2 cars at the same time), and pretty steep, with sections up to 20%. In many places the road is bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. There are some scary parts, especially because its narrowness and drop offs.  

The final part of the climb includes a tunnel extremely narrow called Galleria di Cadolcia. It’s a 250m unlit gravel tunnel that was built during the 2nd World War (finished 1941). The view over Bellinzona and as far as Lake Maggiore is superb. After the pass the road continues but on a gravel surface in very poor conditions.” 


File:UK traffic sign 529.1.svg - Wikimedia Commons WARNING - there is a 150m very dark tunnel at kilometer 8.7 File:UK traffic sign 529.1.svg - Wikimedia Commons 

Cycling Alpe di Cadinello  - tunnel

Don’t rely on this . . .

Bring your own lights!

Cycling Alpe di Cadinello  - looking out end of tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel . . . 🌞

We finish the climb at a tunnel you should not ride through and which adds nothing to the climb - it’s all downhill from there.  We end the climb at the beginning of this ominous tunnel.

Cycling Alpe di Cadinello  - view down long dark tunnel

Stop here.